How to Delete images from iMessage iOS 10

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delete images

We all know and love Apple’s built-in instant messaging service (IM) called ‘iMessage’. This cool in-built tool started from the iOS version 5. Thereafter, with each progressive iOS version, users deemed this tool more and more useful. iMessage as a utility became more feature rich with each new addition of the iOS, especially iOS 10. Given the increased popularity and usage of iMessage iOS 10, it’s helpful to know how to delete unwanted images and effectively free up space.

iMessage chews up your device’s storage space

iMessage enables users to send text, picture, video, sound, and map location rapidly and easily to anyone using iMessage on iPhone, Mac (iMessage runs on Mac OS X Mountain Lion or later), iPad, and even Apple watch. When it got down to iOS 10, iMessage became even more robust than predecessor iOS versions.

Through iOS 10 significant new updates were introduced to iMessage. These updates included bubble and screen effects, emoji tap backs, full-on emojification, digital touch, handwriting, and iMessage apps.  All of these features meant an ever growing and significant amount of data, especially images, gets saved onto your Apple device.

Automatically saved messages (especially ones with images), play a certain havoc on users. If you’re part of multiple highly active groups on iMessage, you may well be experiencing storage consumption faster than imaginable. What causes further havoc is finding out too late, what is automatically saving onto your device.  

Just like undesirable messages, unwanted pictures that you have nothing to do with, shouldn’t be on your device. These can cause not only initial embarrassment, but also dent your reputation.

How to delete images on iMessage iOS 10

  • Delete Messages Manually – In order to manually delete your messages (containing text, images, audio, video, etc.) you may delete each message one by one, delete the entire conversation, or delete more than one conversation at a time.

Delete each message one by one:

  1. Open the message conversation
  2. Touch and hold the message bubble you need deleted
  3. Tap “More
  4. Tap the “trash bin
  5. Tap “Delete Message
  6. To delete all the messages in a thread tap “Delete All” (in the upper-left corner)

Delete the entire conversation:

  1. Open “Messages
  2. Swipe left over the conversation that you want to delete
  3. Tap “Delete

Delete more than one conversation at a time:

  1. Open “Messages
  2. Tap “Edit” in the upper-left corner
  3. Tap the circle next to the conversation
  4. Tap “Delete” in the bottom-right corner

The above is a slower way of deleting your images. This might not be the most practical way of freeing up much needed storage space, especially when you have hundreds of images to deal with on your iPhone or iPad.  Anything less (in terms of free storage space) than the Apple recommended 25% will lead to issues like system hanging up, and overall slow processing of anything that runs on your device (including apps, internet downloading/uploading). It now makes sense to do the below.

Set old iMessages to delete automatically (on iPhone or iPad)

Old messages can take up a lot of your device’s space, especially ones with video and picture attachments. By default, your device will store your entire message history. You can set your iOS device to automatically delete old messages if you are running iOS 8 or later. iMessage lets you automatically remove messages after a set period of time. That way, you can reclaim space without having to remember to manually delete everything on your own.

  1. Open the Settings app
  2. Select “Messages
  3. Tap the “Keep Messages” option
  4. Select either “30 Days” or “1 Year
  5. You will be asked if you want to delete any messages on your device that are older than the time limit you set.
  6. Tap “Delete” in the popup menu to confirm you’d like to delete any messages older than the specified time period. Remember, you cannot undo this action.
    imessage


    Delete multiple images at once on iPhone or iPad 

    If you want to delete multiple images, there’s no need to tap your way through each iMessage or SMS.

  7. Launch the Messages app on your iPhone or iPad.
  8. Tap on the chat you’d like to clear images.
  9. Tap the info button on the top right of your screen. It’s the ‘i‘ in a circle.
    info button
  1. Tap and hold on one of the images you’d like to delete under the Attachments section.
  2. Tap on “More” in the popup menu.
  3. Select all the images and attachments you’d like to delete.
    more imessage
  4. Tap on the “Delete” button in the bottom right when you’ve got them all selected.
  5. Tap on “Delete Messages” in the popup menu to confirm the delete.
    delete message

Do you need to free up space even quicker?

Deleting stored images is definitely one of the main ways to reclaim much needed storage space. Yet, if you find yourself hunting for immediately available space on your iPhone or iPad, it’s a good idea to begin with setting the audio/video expiration settings to “after two minutes.” This is because audio/video messages hog most of the space.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Tap on Messages.
  3. Tap on Expire under the Audio Messages and/or Video Messages section.
  4. Choose either Never or After 2 Minutes.

Final thoughts

Users should be cautious since they can’t delete iMessages or SMS/MMS on someone else’s iPhone or iPad once the messages are sent. Also, just because anyone can send you an iMessage on your iPhone or iPad doesn’t mean you have to allow them to do so. Options to mute, block, and reporting are all there if you’re getting messaged too often and if you keep getting messages meant for someone else (spam). So its important to remember to send carefully, delete timely, and block, mute or report in case of need.

We hope the above article has been insightful enough to help you delete images in iMessage iOS 10.  Comment below with any tips or questions you may have, to further help enhance the iMessage iOS 10 experience of users.

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